Kokua Line

By June Watanabe

Thursday, July 5, 2001

Seat-belt law exempts
those with ailments

Question: I was interested in your item about seat belts, especially the part about the shoulder strap being worn over the shoulder. It happens that I can't wear the shoulder strap over my shoulder since it causes the pacemaker in my left chest to be sore. If I am stopped by the police and ticketed, would I have any recourse? Unfortunately, when they write the laws, it may not fit everyone.

Answer: There is a provision in the law (Hawaii Revised Statutes 291-11.6 C3) that says no person shall be guilty of violating the seat belt law if: "The person not restrained by a seat belt assembly has a condition which prevents appropriate restraint by the seat belt assembly; provided such condition is duly certified by a physician who shall state the nature of the condition, as well as the reason such restraint is inappropriate."

However, John Lovstedt of the state Motor Vehicle Safety Office says he has not heard of any physician who has done that, because of liability reasons.

Q: Regarding the "Kokua Line" item about the sale of the old Marks Estate by the state Department of Transportation, can one get in writing from the state that the property, when bought, will be handed over from generation to generation and not be reclaimed/condemned, etc., after having to spend money fixing it up? The buyer at this point has no guarantee. If the state cannot assure the buyer, then a block of some kind should be put on this property whereby the state will have to fix and maintain it.

A: The state Department of Transportation intends to sell the property at 3860 Old Pali Rd. through auction because it no longer needs it, said spokeswoman Marilyn Kali. It also hasn't been able to maintain it, and the main structure is in disrepair.

Anyone who buys it won't be getting any guarantee.

"Should a state agency need the property in the future, the owner would be compensated by that agency," Kali said. The compensation would be based on the current appraised value of the property, which would likely include any improvements the owner has made to bring it to its appraised value, she said.

Meanwhile, it's hoped the property will be put on the auction block in three months for an upset price of $1 million.

The state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which will handle the auction, has approved bid documents, which were being reviewed by the Attorney General's Office, Kali said.

The former Lester and Elizabeth Marks Estate was purchased by the Transportation Department in 1956 as part of the Pali Highway project. Its last use was as headquarters for the Hawaii Institute for Management and Analysis of Government, but it has been vacant for years.

Because it is designated historic, the main building can't be torn down and basically has to be used in the form it is in now, Kali said. There were no bidders when it was put up for sale at the upset price of $3.25 million a few years ago.


To the female driver of a blue Nissan. About 7:25 a.m. Tuesday, June 26, you drove through a red light at Liliha and School streets, cutting off an oncoming car who had the green arrow to turn left. How did this all happen? You were busy yakking away on your cell phone, continuing to talk on it until Dillingham Boulevard, where I lost sight of you. You are an accident waiting to happen! -- No Name

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